Tampa Bay Lightning star Nikita Kucherov skated with the team Saturday morning, his first practice participation since surgery in late October.
Coach Jon Cooper told reporters Kucherov's brief time on the ice "does not trigger anything new in his timeline" and cautioned that the forward is "still quite a ways off."
Kucherov, 28, hasn't played since Oct. 16 when he sustained a lower-body injury during a game against the Washington Capitals.
On Oct. 27, the team announced that the two-time Stanley Cup champion had undergone a surgical procedure and would be out eight to 10 weeks.
Cooper said earlier this week that Kucherov likely would not return until after the new year.
"But it's great to have him out here with the guys," Cooper said Saturday.
Kucherov has one goal and three assists in three games this season.
He missed the 2020-21 regular season after hip surgery in December but returned with a flourish in the playoffs, recording 32 points (eight goals, 24 assists) in 23 games to help the Lightning repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
He won the Hart Memorial Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award in 2018-19 after scoring a career-high 41 goals and leading the league in assists (87) and points (128).
Kucherov has 551 points (222 goals, 329 assists) in 518 career regular-season games since making his debut in 2013.
--Field Level Media